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Here Are Five Types of Fish You Can Catch in the Hudson River

NEW YORK CITY — In the murky waters of the Hudson River there are fish to catch.

As the Hudson River is technically saltwater along Manhattan, you do not need a fishing license from New York State. However, whether or not you should eat your catch is a complicated matter.

Depending on what latches onto the end of your line, eating your catch is a possibility. However, due to lead, PCBs and other contaminants found in fish meat, there are recommendations from the New York State Department of Health (NYSDH) on who should and shouldn’t eat what and how often you should eat it.

For example, the NYSDH recommends that striped bass, no matter where it's caught, should not be eaten by women under 50 and all children under 15.

Men over 15 and women over 50 should only eat that fish type once a month. For more information on eating recommendations check out this document.

Here are five fish you could catch off Riverside Park, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC):


Striped Bass
Best chance of a catch: May, June, July, September, October, November    

You can identify this fish by its thick black stripes. A striped bass can weigh between three to more than 40 pounds, and you can find them near the pilings of piers and around rocks. Artificial bait as well as sandworms, mackerel and squid is the best for catching striped bass, according to the NYSDEC.                                             
bluefish Bluefish
Best chance of a catch: August, September, October
Bluefish have fairly long bodies with forked tails and serrated teeth. They can grow as big as 15 pounds, according to the NYSDEC. Although it can get messy, using chunk bait — like herring — works best for catching big bluefish. Artificial baits will attract the smaller fish.


Best chance of a catch: May, June, July, August, September

These slim and long fish are distinguished by their dark spots and yellow fins. As the Hudson River along Manhattan is a tidal estuary — it is affected by tides — the conditions are perfect for Weakfish. Those that are caught often range from one to six pounds. Squid and whole sandworms work best as bait for them, as well as some artificial baits like diamond jigs and bucktails.      

Best chance of a catch: August, September, October  

Porgy, also known as scup, is a flat and small fish of up to 4 pounds with a sharp spine and a dull silver coloring. You may also find faint stripes on its side. They tend to feed during the day and can be found swimming around artificial reefs as well as rocks. The bait that works best is seaworm, clam and squid, according to the NYSDEC.


Summer Flounder
Best Chance of a Catch: June, July, August, September             

Summer flounder, or fluke, can alter its color to match white sand or black mud. Its permanent identifying features are canine teeth and a large mouth. Summer flounders spend much of their time hunting on the water bottom, but can also be found gathering near a structure like a pier. They can grow to about 15 pounds, but expect to catch something between one and three pounds. For bait, try squid or spearing.